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Florida refuses to accept federal grants under the Affordable Care Act

Posted On Tue, August 2, 2011

Despite opposing the 2010 healthcare law reforms, most Republican governors and state legislators have accepted the funds given to them by the federal government. One of the exceptions is Florida.

Florida Governor Rick Scott and the state's Republican-controlled legislature have repeatedly rejected all federal funding offered under the Affordable Care Act. Even though the state has the second-highest rate of uninsured citizens, it has turned away millions of dollars in grants that would go toward initiatives like moving long-term care patients back into their homes and improving state regulation of health premiums.

"There are a lot of programs that the federal government would like to give you that don't fit your state, don't fit your needs and ultimately create obligations that our taxpayers can't afford," Scott said.

Scott and other Republican legislative leaders are adamant about refusing the funding, unless ordered to accept it by an appellate court. Florida filed a lawsuit against the federal government, claiming that the reform laws are unconstitutional, and the federal judge ruled in favor of the state.

Residents of Florida who currently have trouble affording health insurance rates may not be happy with their state's decision. The director of the Suncoast Health Council in St. Petersburg, Elizabeth M. Rugg said, "Residents will suffer if the grants are turned away. There's a lot of need in Florida."

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